WOONSOCKET – A woman who was allegedly held captive by her ex-boyfriend for some 20 hours this week eventually escaped to Glocester, where she reported the incident to local police. The suspect, who held the victim in an apartment on Prospect Street, allegedly robbed her before shoving a handgun and a blowtorch in her mouth and, finally, choking and beating her.
Due to the nature of the allegations, Gino Rossi, 28, of 76 Prospect St., was arrested at gunpoint by members of the Woonsocket Police Department around 10:40 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 24. He is charged with first-degree robbery; domestic assault with intent to commit specific felonies; domestic strangulation; domestic kidnapping; and domestic felony assault; as well as the lesser offenses of domestic simple assault and domestic disorderly conduct.
Rossi was ordered held without bail at the Adult Correctional Institutions after a preliminary hearing in Sixth District Court on Monday, Sept. 25, according to the judiciary’s web site. He’s presently on probation from a 2020 conviction for felony domestic assault, and has also been charged by state prosecutors as a violator due to the new allegations lodged against him, the web site says.
Police reports say the victim is a 21-year-old woman from Pawtucket who had been in an occasional dating relationship with Rossi for about a year. She told police that she and Rossi also had an understanding that theirs was not an exclusive relationship and that he was aware she had a long-term relationship with another man in Glocester – a man with whom she ultimately sought refuge after escaping from Rossi.
Despite the supposed understanding with Rossi, the victim told police his rampage was the result of his jealousy over her other romantic interests.
The victim told police Rossi held her captive in his apartment from about 10 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 23 to about 5 p.m. the following day. She had gone there voluntarily, traveling by Uber from the apartment she shares with her parents in Pawtucket .
At first, she said, Rossi seemed “nice,” but his demeanor changed dramatically. Soon after she arrived, Rossi became angry about her dating other men and, while they were in his bedroom together, he displayed a black handgun that he removed from a briefcase. He forcefully inserted the gun in her mouth, threatening to shoot her and, “send people,” after other members of her family, she told police.
While brandishing the weapon, Rossi allegedly demanded $200 from her Apple wallet. She complied, police said, and later showed them the digital history of the transaction.
At one point, Rossi left the room briefly and returned with a blow torch. He lit it, held the flame near her face and allegedly asked if she’d like to be burned alive, according to police reports. Then he turned off the flame and shoved the tubular element of the device in her mouth.
After menacing her with the weapons, the victim told police Rossi choked her to the point of suffocation and began punching her in the arms and face.
The victim told police she finally escaped from Rossi’s apartment after he left her alone there. Again hiring an Uber, the woman went to her boyfriend’s home in Glocester and, from there, reported the encounter with Rossi to the town’s police department.
Police reports say the city police initially learned of the incident from the Glocester Police Department and subsequently made arrangements to take Rossi into custody as a high-risk suspect. He was arrested without incident from a dwelling he shares with at least one grandparent, according to reports.
Woonsocket police first encountered the victim at Rhode Island Hospital in Providence. Officer Shane Murray, a city policeman who interviewed her, said she was suffering from bruises on her arm and scratches on her face. He also observed that some of the soft tissue on the underside of her tongue was severed, an injury she believes was caused by Rossi forcing the gun in her mouth.
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